01 02 03 EduNinja: First Blog Post! Collaboration & Transformation 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

First Blog Post! Collaboration & Transformation

Well, here it goes! I have written and re-written this first post so many times. Initially, I was struggling with the purpose of my blog. {The "why" for joining the blogging community} I was nervous about what to write, who might my audience be? What if no one likes what I have to say? Or even reads it.... So many questions!

I think I just need to dive in and start figuring it out! 

Over the past few weeks I have been really fortunate to be involved in a number of professional learning opportunities.{formal/structured & informal/serendipitous} Connecting with colleagues and passionate people who have challenged and pushed my thinking. Here are some of my reflections:

#bettertogether #scdsb
In A Rich Seam, Michael Fullan describes collaboration as; working in teams, learning from and contributing to the learning of others, social networking skills and empathy in working with diverse others. This is exactly the environment that is being fostered in our program and innovation department and across our county! Our program & innovation team {PIT} has seamlessly created learning groups and self-organized a network that has already started to generate some great ideas! GAFE Caf├ęs and Lunch n' Learns are popping up around Simcoe County, modelling the power of collaboration and learning from each other.

Growth happens on the fringe
The  workshop Tapping the Power of Networks: Strategies for Innovation & Renewal has helped me to take collaboration a step further. It's not just about collaborating and sharing ideas, but about making connections and building relationships that are key to innovation and transformation. June Holley explained how networks allow us to connect and work with people with different perspectives without having to agree on everything. This opens us up and enables us to generate new insights and make breakthroughs that accelerate transformation. 

From Network Weavers Handbook, June Holley
At the D2L Regional Users' Forum we had terrible WiFi connectivity which highlighted how urgently we need to make changes to keep up in the 21st century. WiFi is becoming a need that could be added to Maslow's Hierarchy! The content at the forum was incredibly valuable, but not being able to interact/share and make learning visible (ie. twitter, shared google doc...) meant I was less engaged and able to connect with the material shared.

I believe a shift in mindset will help us to move forward with the evolving transformation in education. At the Fall SIM conference we were given a number of great resources about

Growth Mindsets, which made us think...
- Fixed mindset supports grades / growth mindset supports feedback + learning.
- Praise does not create growth, feedback and confronting mistakes creates deep learning.
-Praising intelligence turns kids off of learning. 
-If students didn't get a grade, they got the feedback, not yetThen it shows we have faith in their ability to learn over time!
It has been great to continue this conversation with colleagues and explore ways to promote a growth mindset within our community of learners.

EdCamp Swag
Yesterday, I had an amazing experience @edcampToronto. My first "un-conference". The process of being self-directed in learning is crucial for all learners! It was great to connect with some of my Twitter PLN folks in real life and continue to build relationships and strengthen my professional network. I met some fabulous educators who are doing great work with descriptive feedback, promoting growth mindsets and making great strides towards a transformation in education! Really excited about being a part of the +edcamp barrie event on September 27th and continuing this learning adventure!

So, I think I have figured out my "why" for writing a blog. Reflecting on my learning & consolidating my thinking. If no one reads this, that's okay! The process has been incredibly valuable!  

Yesterday after edcamp, my brain hurt. So many neurons connecting and ideas flying around. 

Now, I feel energized! 

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